Sakshi, Bajrang hit out at suspended WFI for organising nationals

The WFI was suspended immediately after Sanjay, a close aide of former president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, won the elections.

Sakshi, Bajrang hit out at suspended WFI for organising nationals

Wrestler's Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia (ANI Photo/ Sanjay Sharma)

Seasoned grapplers, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, launched a fresh attack on suspended Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) president Sanjay Singh accusing him of organising wrestling nationals and “distributing fake certificates”.

The WFI was suspended immediately after Sanjay, a close aide of former president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, won the elections. The Sports Ministry, while suspending WFI, had said the federation violated the National Sports Code and seemed to be in control of ex-office bearers.

Despite the suspension of the WFI, Sanjay Singh is organising the nationals in Pune from January 29-31 while the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) ad-hoc committee, which is running the WFI, has called for nationals from February 2.


Sakshi, who had announced her retirement from the sport in protest against the election of Sanjay Singh, accused the suspended office bearer of distributing fake certificates to wrestlers which could put them in trouble in future when they use it to get government jobs. The 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist also urged the Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to look into the matter.

“The Government of India had suspended the activities of Brij Bhushan’s associate Sanjay Singh, yet Sanjay Singh is running the National Wrestling Championship as per his wish and is distributing fake certificates to the players, which is illegal,” she wrote.

“The Wrestling National Championship organised by the Sports Ministry is to be held in Jaipur, but before that, to prove his dominance over wrestling, Sanjay Singh is illegally signing and distributing certificates of different National Championships. How can a suspended person of the organization misuse the money of the organization?”

“Tomorrow, when the players go to ask for jobs with these certificates, action will be taken against the poor players. Whereas there is no fault of the players. Action should be taken immediately against Sanjay Singh who is committing such fraud and who is still committing all these frauds despite the ban on his activities. I appeal to the Sports Minister Shri Anurag Thakur ji to look into this issue and save the future of the players from getting spoiled,” Malik added.

Malik also attached a picture of a certificate in her post which was apparently awarded to the nationals run by suspended the WFI.

Reacting to Sakshi’s post, Bajrang accused Sanjay Singh of committing a big fraud. “Wrestling is controlled by such noble people who are not able to fill out the certificates of the players properly even after conducting fake nationals. See what date of birth was written and Sanjay Singh even signed the same certificate,” he wrote.

“Those whose activities have been banned are conducting national championships. What a big fraud is going on. I request the Sports Minister to take cognisance of these illegal activities and take appropriate action.”

Meanwhile, Singh has claimed that the suspended WFI will be once again ratified by the government in 10 days and added that around 700 wrestlers will take part in the nationals in Pune.

The Sports Ministry, however, has come down heavily in its letter to Sanjay Singh and also threatened of legal action against him.

“…Certain claims are being made by you pertaining to the recognition of the currently under-suspension Executive Committee of the WFI and about the competitions being held by you at Pune are being made, which are again absolutely baseless and mischievous,” the Ministry said in the letter to Sanjay Singh.

“The Ministry has already vide its letter dated 7.1.2024, addressed to you and copies of which were endorsed to affiliate units of WFI and State Governments/Union Territories, made this entire issue categorically clear.

“It is once again informed that any championships or competitions organized by the suspended Executive Committee members of WFI, will be treated as unsanctioned and unrecognized competitions,” the Ministry added.

The Ministry added that WFI should refrain from making any “unsubstantiated claims”. “In light of the above, you are hereby strongly advised to desist from making any further unsubstantiated claims regarding the status of the Wrestling Federation of India. Please be advised that failure to adhere to this caution may compel the Ministry to consider further legal action, including but not limited to legal proceedings for spreading misinformation and unsubstantiated claims and any other relevant charges as per the laws of the country,” the ministry letter read.